Jessica Hentoff, Artistic Executive Director of Circus Harmony, stopped by to talk about the mission and works of the organization. ------
Circus Harmony is a non-profit social circus organization that uses circus arts to motivate social change. By inspiring individuals and connecting communities with our circus education and entertainment programs, we have a positive impact on the St. Louis area and beyond. ———
Our programs teach valuable life skills like perseverance, focus, and teamwork. Learning circus with others teaches trust, responsibility and cooperation. Perhaps the most important experience we give our participants is the opportunity to meet and interact with children from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds than their own. ———
We believe the path to peace is a path of cooperation and communication. Teaching children from different neighborhoods how to stand on each other’s shoulders may seem like a strange way to take this path. But it’s the technique we use! Circus Harmony promotes peace through pyramids, joy through juggling and harmony through handsprings. ———
About Jessica Hentoff: Jessica has been teaching and performing circus arts for over 40 years. Ms. Hentoff has been using circus arts to motivate social change since she founded the St. Louis Arches youth circus performance troupe in 1989. She created Circus Harmony in 2001 to expand youth circus opportunities for St. Louis youth. In 2009, Ms. Hentoff was named both St. Louis Arts Innovator of the Year and Outstanding Arts Educator of the Year. Ms. Hentoff is the only person to be a founding member of both the Big Apple Circus in NYC and Circus Flora in St. Louis. She serves as youth circus advisor to both the Circus Fans Association of America and the World Circus Federation. In 2014, she was honored to be the first person to receive the American Youth Circus Organization/American Circus Educators’ Excellence in Circus Education Award. Jessica is the artistic/executive director of Circus Harmony where she uses her remarkable vision and use of circus arts to build character and community and to help children “defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers.”
Grant Benoit, Director of Education for Craft Alliance, stopped by to discuss his new role at the Alliance. ----
An engaging Artist and Education professional with an abundance of experience working in educational arts, Grant Benoit comes to Craft Alliance following a tenure as the museum educator at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Museum of Art where he coordinated, developed and taught K-12, adult and university programs. Benoit received his MFA in Printmaking from Southern Illinois University and exhibits both nationally and internationally.----
With experience in art education, leadership, management, program planning, and non-profits, Benoit brings broad expertise and new ideas to a position that drives the comprehensive educational resources Craft Alliance provides to its community partners and thousands of students regardless of need.----
Kim Eberlein, Co-Chair of The Visionary Awards, and Hassie Davis, Teacher and Educator in the Theater Arts, as well as being a performer, and a recipient this year of a Visionary Award, stopped by to talk about this years award event.
About the Visionary Awards: In 2015, the Saint Louis Visionary Awards were relaunched by an independent committee of women to celebrate the numerous contributions and achievements of women who work in or support the arts inSt. Louis. From established working arts professionals and arts educators to emerging artists and community impact artists, each year's honorees are truly "visionary". The 2022 recipients are... HASSIE DAVIS, ANDREA HUGHES, DIANNE ISBELL, MEE JEY, EMILY RAUH PULITZER, PAM TRAPP
Hassie Davis, this year's recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Artist is a locally and nationally known performing and teaching artist based in the St. Louis Metro area. As a performer, she has worked with various theater companies around the country, most notably with TheaterWorks/USA performing at the Kennedy Center. As an arts educator, she has utilized her skills in Arts Integration with many arts education programs such as Muny 1st Stage, Gitana Theater, The Canvas Project, and is a member of the Wolf Trap International Arts Integration program. In addition, she is a 2016 Fellow of the Regional Arts Commission Community Arts Training Program. She helped to create and has served for the last
21 years as Program Coordinator for CLUB CHIPS. CHIPS Health and
Wellness Center’s innovative teen leadership program utilizes the arts to guide teens in acquiring valuable knowledge about their mental and physical health in order to educate and empower themselves and their peers.
Lauren Ross, Executive Director of Laumier Sculpture Park, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the park and the current and upcoming exhibits, including Salutary Sculpture, which runs through May 15th, 2022. -------
Founded in 1976, Laumeier is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the country. In 1968, Mrs. Matilda Laumeier bequeathed the first 72 acres of the future Laumeier Sculpture Park to St. Louis County in memory of her husband, Henry Laumeier. In 1976, local artist Ernest Trova gifted 40 artworks, with an estimated market value of approximately one million dollars, to St. Louis County for the formation of a sculpture park and gallery. Laumeier Sculpture Park opened as part of the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation system on July 7, 1976. One year later, Laumeier Sculpture Park was officially incorporated.
Today, Laumeier Sculpture Park is an internationally recognized, nonprofit arts organization that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and operates in partnership with St. Louis County Parks. Projects and programs are supported by the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund, the Regional Arts Commission, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri Arts Council and the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis. Laumeier presents more than 70 works of large-scale outdoor sculpture in a 105-acre park located in the heart of St. Louis County. Free and open daily, Laumeier serves 300,000 visitors of all ages each year through sculpture conservation, education programs, temporary exhibitions and public events. -------
In 2015, Laumeier closed its first major capital campaign, Sculpting the Future, culminating in the renovation of the Laumeier’s 1917 Estate House into the Kranzberg Education Lab and the construction of the new Aronson Fine Arts Center for exhibitions, programs and events. -------